June 29, 2015

The AmbraceMe Style Dare!

If you're looking to pick yourself up out of your creative slump, there's no better way than a style dare! I began the AmbraceMe Style Dare with hopes of expanding my view of my existing wardrobe and gaining some blogging love. I planned on writing a blog review no matter the outcome, but to my joyful surprise I ended up being the June winner! So thank you to Amber Renae from the AmbraceMe Style Dare on that! I guess you could say that the experience exceeded my expectations. Let me step back and explain to those of you who are unfamiliar. A style dare or style challenge, is typically held by a popular style blogger, and most times they will join along with you. The actual challenge is a month's long list of a chosen theme for each day of the month on Instagram.You use this theme as a reference for your outfit of the day, and post a picture with hashtags related to the challenge. This way other bloggers who are participating can see everyone else's twist on the theme, and you can converse and share ideas! I began the style dare with 160 followers, and ended with 177, so I gained 17 fellow fashion lovers to connect with. I felt plenty of blog love, and also felt more in tune with the fashion blogging community. I also felt very inspired to take a step outside of my fashion box, and try new things. It really got me into a good routine when I referenced the daily challenge as I chose an outfit each morning. I found myself picking up things I hadn't touched in years and still wondered if they belonged in my closet! Turns out, it's good to hold onto things until they become relevant again. For example, for the Feathers and Fur challenge I picked up a pair of feather earrings from years ago and realized I missed them! Now I didn't participate every day, because life gets hectic sometimes, but I did manage to record 12 of the 30 days. All in all it was a fun time, and I highly recommend joining or creating a style challenge of your own. For full outfit details, follow me on Instagram @bedazzledbritt!

Day 1: In the Shadows, Day 2: Scarf or Tie
Day 3: Tribal Territory, Day 4: Colored Frames
Day 5: Fabulous Fridays, Day 6: Feathers and Fur
Day 7: Island Life
Day 15: Silver n Gold, Day 16: Leather or Lace
Day 17: Seeing Pink, Day 18: Print-Tastic
Day 22: Ivory Daze
Day 26: Metallic Madness

June 25, 2015

Hawaii Trip Flashback

I'll never forget my time spent on the tropical island of Oahu, Hawaii, nearly 6 years ago. I traveled to Hawaii with 100 members of my marching band family, so we hit the most touristy spots. I just so happened to be there on my sweet 16th birthday, so I had the embarrassment of having a giant birthday cake placed in front of me at the Hard Rock Cafe, where my band family sang "Happy Birthday." That week, we stayed in the grandest hotel I have ever seen, with a sparkling waterfall and wide open front entrance. Pineapple syrup is a thing there, so each morning I heaped my plate full of hot pancakes drizzled in pineapple syrup. Make sure to take a tour of the Dole Pineapple Plantation, and order a fresh pineapple shake or smoothie made right on the spot. There's also a macadamia nut farm where you can fill up on free samples of various nuts. BBQ on the beach is a popular activity, and typically involves some fresh fruit, salads, and pork or chicken. If you're looking for an adventure, or just an intense workout, try climbing a volcano at the local state park. The view from the top is extremely rewarding! You could also rent a boogie board or surf board and try your hand at it in the Pacific Ocean. I'd highly suggest spending an entire day at the Polynesian Cultural Center, where you may weave fish out of long strands of grass, see s hula dance performance, and ride a kayak down a koi fish filled river. It can be an emotional experience, but you can also visit Pearl Harbor, and take a ferry out to the USS Arizona memorial in the middle of the water. It rains almost every morning in Hawaii, but always clears up by early afternoon. This means that every evening you will be treated to the most astonishing sunset over the water. For a romantic evening, take a dinner cruise and enjoy live music, dancing, and possibly a peak of some nearby dolphins or whales. Most people do not drive on the island, but instead take bikes, scooters, or walk. The night life of Hawaii was one of my favorite parts. Artisans, musicians, street performers, and stands to buy anything imaginable line the streets. Food and souvenirs are relatively cheap, but clothing and housing is unbelievably expensive. Waikiki is home to the world's largest outdoor mall, but be prepared to see mostly designer label stores. They are also home to the world's largest flea market, where hidden gems cost little to nothing. Hopefully you enjoyed joining me on my flashback review! Everyone should be able to see at least one island of Hawaii in their life, and I hope I am able to visit all the islands someday!

June 15, 2015

Florida Trip Outlines!

There's just something about Florida that feels right. I don't know if it's the salty hair, sandy skin, or crashing waves, but Florida had me feeling "high on sunshine". Whether it's fishing, swimming, walking, boarding, or biking, there was always something to do. We stayed at a small section called the Hammock, located on the Palm Coast. It's a real mix of upper, lower, and middle class housing, just a short walk from the beach. We visited many different beaches, but my favorite of all was the St. Augustine Beach. Crystal clear water, soft sand, great fishing, and a vast variety of shells and sea creatures to discover brought this beach to the top of my list. Another mentionable beach would be Flagler Beach, due to it's walk-out pier, and delicious seaside restaurant, the Funky Pelican. We also visited downtown St. Augustine, which is the oldest continuously occupied city in America, founded in 1565. Although a tad "touristy", the city has many shops, galleries, museums, and forts to tour and enjoy. Another great place to visit in St. Augustine, is the Alligator Farm and Zoo. I thoroughly enjoyed being able to get up and close with hundreds of alligators, crocodiles, and many other animals. We also rented some paddle boards and went out onto the Mantanzas inlet in St. Augustine. If you make it to the Mantanzas inlet beach around sunrise when the tide is lowest, you will find plenty of shells and interesting sea life in the tide pools. Now you can't go to Florida without visiting Disneyworld, am I right? I've been to every Disney park in the resort, but this time we visited the Magic Kingdom. If I had to pick a favorite park, it would be Epcot. I absolutely loved getting a taste of every culture, and seeing the diversity between the cultures. But if you're looking for rides, Mickey Mouse shaped treats, and some good childish fun, Magic Kingdom is the place to visit! It takes a full day to make it entirely through each park, so plan accordingly! We also spent a day at Universal Island and Universal Studios. Even though I was looking more forward to Disney, I was even more blown away by Universal! The wait times for rides at Universal were nearly half of what Disney's wait times were. Every ride there was a hyper-realistic and intense adventure. I'm also a mega-fan of Harry Potter, so seeing Diagon Alley, Hogsmede, and Hogwarts come to life was a dream come true. Inside Hogwarts castle, is a tour through the Hogwarts replica that leads to what was my favorite ride. If you're a fan, also make sure to have a pumpkin juice in the Three Broomsticks, and a Butterbeer in the Leaky Cauldron. The best surprise was that if you purchase a special wand at Olivander's Wand Shop, you will be able to cast spells and interact with things around the park. Don't foget to grab a giant pink donut at Lard Lads in Simpson's World, explore Jurassic Park, and (for my fellow superhero fans) nerd-out in the Marvel section of Universal! All in all, Florida was a wonderful experience, and I can't wait to visit again. More posts to come, so check back in with me soon!

June 1, 2015

All Natural Ice Cream Recipe!

To me, summer foods are some of the best! Fresh fruits and veggies are at the peak of their season, hot dogs and hamburgers sizzle on the grill, and salads and slaws add that cold crunch. Per usual though, dessert always takes the cake! Hehe, see what I did there? In my opinion, nothing beats a frozen popsicle or bowl of ice cream to beat the summer heat. Just brings me back to my younger days of chasing down the ice cream truck or picking out scoops at the ice cream parlor. Although ice cream has always been my weakness, I have lost a bit of my tolerance to sweets! In this, I was determined to find a healthy alternative to the sugary snack! After testing a few recipes out, I discovered the trick to making the perfect healthy ice cream! The real shocker is that it is made out of only TWO ingredients. You can also only use two ingredients to make endless different flavor combinations. The ingredients are: frozen fruit and milk. Just take a couple frozen banana, peach, mango, or strawberry chunks, and blend them with a tablespoon or so of milk. It almost seems too simple when it turns out to be such a tasty concoction! You can also substitute the milk for almond milk to create a dairy-free version. Don't forget to add some toppings for extra flavor like granola, more fresh fruit, honey, or some chocolate chips. Enjoy experimenting with flavors and toppings to find your favorite. Personally, I love bananas and almond milk with some honey and strawberries to top it off! Hope you like my healthy sweet treat recipe just in time for summer!